Imagine if your business had the internal resources to identify and eliminate inefficiencies across your entire telecom environment – helping you optimize business processes, maximize resource availability, curtail costs, and minimize risk.
Sounds ideal, right? Unfortunately, this is easier said than done, and, in reality, manually achieving these results in your organization is labour-intensive, time-consuming and requires your team to possess sufficient internal skills and knowledge. Here's where telecom expense management (TEM) steps in.
Telecom Expense Management (TEM)
In recent years, enterprises have been steadily embracing TEM as the needs of their growing telecom infrastructure has become more complex. This may be why the TEM market is expected to grow by 14.2% over the next decade, as large enterprises attempt to gain control over complex and extensive telecom estates, and IT managers begin to practice greater management efficiency to help minimize risk and eliminate extraneous costs.
Independent TEM providers can accurately track, manage, and report on all fixed and mobile telecom resources – removing the burden from your internal teams and helping your business achieve greater efficiency and savings.
This creates a greater level of visibility of your telecom environment and provides external expert support to help you maximize the potential of your existing infrastructure. Additionally, independent TEM providers can consolidate complex billing information from multiple sources into a single management system – enabling better asset, inventory, and cost dispute management.
Considering this, it’s evident why businesses are keen to embrace the helping hand of TEM, especially as immediate cost savings arise from greater visibility and optimization of untamed telecom estates.
However, it’s not infrequent for many large enterprises to question the longevity of a TEM program, and whether making the decision to invest in TEM long term will create meaningful and, most importantly, long-lasting improvements and cost-savings across their telecom infrastructure.
How Can You Estimate the Benefits of Your TEM?
Estimating the long-term benefits and cost-savings of TEM can be challenging. Every enterprise has subjective variables that affect the extremity of TEM outcomes which can be the difference between freeing up significant figures from your telecom budget, or only achieving minor results.
These variables are a combination of the size of your current telecom estate, the TEM service provider you choose, the make-up of your telecom estate, and the services offered by your TEM provider. What’s more, the global-reach of your chosen TEM provider also can effect the results of TEM, especially if you’re a European-based enterprise or globally-reaching organization.
With these factors in mind, you should assess the needs of your business before choosing a TEM provider and only select a supplier that can cater to your specific requirements. For example, some vendors offer limited services with the option of adding important features, such as telecom expense auditing. If your business wants truly effective TEM, expense auditing should come as comprehensive with your TEM program, rather than as an expensive add-on. This is an example of how small variables can have a big impact, as missing out on expense auditing can reduce your ability to target extraneous costs.
To learn more about the different variables that can effect the benefits of your chosen TEM provider in-depth, read our guide, here.
How Does Effective TEM Deliver Cost-savings?
When businesses choose a TEM provider that suits their business and telecom environment, they can unlock long-term benefits that maintain cost-savings. Considering this, how can the right TEM provider help you achieve these results, and how can a TEM program enable your business to continuously improve your telecom management for years to come?
TEM Stands the Test of Time
TEM promises substantial upfront savings, however, when poorly delivered, these savings can begin to dissipate overtime. This is because the initial implementation of TEM will identify all your unnecessary or excess costs, but by the process of elimination, TEM will remove all your excess assets over time. In theory, businesses may be left with no more inessential costs to eradicate as TEM welcomes an optimized and efficient telecom environment. There’s no doubt this is a benefit, however, surely TEM becomes a superfluous cost once the results have been delivered?
To tackle this, you should choose a TEM provider that can continue delivering you cost-savings past 18 months of post-implementation. Effective TEM providers can continuously perform invoice management to help ensure your invoices are accurate, paid on time, and that cost allocation is applied each month – enabling long-term financial control.
Use TEM to Optimize Your Telecom Inventory
Your enterprise requires the ability to accurately track, manage, and report on all your important assets, however, some TEM providers or TEM solutions may not encompass complete inventory management.
At an enterprise-level, your software and IT assets can become a complex estate, especially considering non-physical assets such as service agreements can become difficult to keep track of – which becomes an issue for auditing and compliance. Your internal teams can inherit user seat licences or service agreements when implementing new tools, leaving you with extraneous charges that, overtime, can go unnoticed, build-up, or mean your business is paying more than they should for a vast and uncontrolled telecom environment.
The right TEM provider can help control this, by integrating your telecom provisioning with your inventory records to achieve complete visibility and control. They can systematically provision your inventory on a regular basis and maintain the integrity and accuracy of your telecom database from one single source.
From here, you can regain full control of your telecom environment, enabling your business to maximize resource availability while identifying fruitless telecom inventory assets and pinpointing crucial cost-savings.
What sets the right TEM provider apart is, in the long term, your TEM provider should be able to routinely perform telecom inventory reporting to identify any new or unnecessary telecom inventory assets.
Get Greater Cost Visibility With TEM
Visibility is becoming a looming problem for enterprise organizations with large telecom environments. Considering more than half of businesses (59%) now allow bring your own device (BYOD), it's easy to see how an apathetic attitude to telecom management can lead to a vast, uncontrolled telecom inventory that imposes significant cost or security issues on businesses.
Your TEM provider should account for this and deliver robust visibility of all billing data – with every cost directly allocated to its source. This enables your organization to see exactly who is using what – providing better accuracy for your internal budgeting (such as across departments and teams), and enabling continuous spend optimization and cost-saving benefits in the long run.
Immediate Cost-savings, Long-term Financial Control
The right TEM provider can guide your business towards creating an optimized telecom environment that minimizes costs, maximizes the potential of your resources, and streamlines your telecom management. To find out what to look for in the ideal TEM provider and how these attributes can improve your cost-savings, read our guide, here.